When Mary stood weeping outside the tomb of Jesus, it was because she had forgotten the promises of God. If you would reduce the pain and suffering in your life, remember the promises of the Lord.

God has promised rest for the soul in search of salvation. Jesus said, “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). So many people are not content to rest in Jesus and His finished work at Calvary. They believe they must do something in order to be saved, or they must do something in order to stay saved. D. L. Moody said something true when he made the comment, “[The] Law tells me how crooked I am; grace comes along and straightens me out.” (Christian History, no. 25).

“Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
there where the blood of the Lamb was spilt.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
grace, grace, God’s grace,
grace that is greater than all our sin!”

Julia H. Johnston

God has promised cleansing from the inward corruption of sin. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

God has promised to do good to His people. “No good thing will He withhold from them that work uprightly” (Psalm 84:11).

“A pilgrim was I, and a wandering,
In the cold night of sin I did roam,
When Jesus the kind Shepherd found me,
And now I am on my way home.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life;
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.

And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever,
And I shall feast at the table spread for me;

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days, all the days of my life.”

John W. Peterson, 1958

God has promised to remain faithful. “The Lord will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake” (1 Samuel 12:22).

God has promised that in the end He will make all things work together for good. “All things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom. 8:28). No matter what event happens in life, there is good that will eventually be realized. This is the promise of God who is a Gentleman, and cannot lie.

While there can be less suffering when the promises of God are remembered, the Lord has designed pain to be part of the Christian experience. When Christians look for the cause of pain and suffering, a number of facets are revealed in Scripture.

Christians suffer in the process of dying, as a result of the Fall. “Wherefore, as by one-man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Rom. 5:12). Death is an intrusion in the natural order of creation. One day, death shall be reversed. One day there will be a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

Christians suffer when the Lord’s Supper is taken in an inappropriate manner. “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. 31 For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged” (1 Cor. 11:29).

The Lord’s Supper is an important part in Christian theology and Church tradition. Some traditions have exalted the ordinance and made it a holy sacrament whereby Divine grace is given to those who observe it. Other traditions have viewed the ordinance as a memorial service in honor of the death of Jesus. The early Church partook of the Lord’s Supper on a weekly basis. Many modern Christians observe the Lord’s Supper less frequently. Some religious structures observe the Lord’s Supper once a month, or once a quarter, or even only once a year.

Whether or not the Lord’s Supper is honor frequently, or occasionally, it should be observed soberly characterized by self examination, self judgment, and discernment. No unbeliever should ever partake of the Lord’s Supper. No professing Christian living in known sin should ever partake of the Lord’s Supper. And no person with unconfessed sin should consume the holy elements. Those who violate the Divine prohibition risk health, and life itself. “For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.”

Christians suffer because they exercise their spiritual gift. This reason is a little confusing at first because we usually associate blessing with spiritual gifts. However, sometimes, the Devil, and the world do not like it when a person’s spiritual gift is manifested and so the Christian suffers at the hands of the Enemies of the Cross. Paul said,

“Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Cor. 11:24-27). Had Paul not exercised his spiritual gifts, he would not have suffered.

Christians suffer due to religious jealousies. The tongue of the slander often speaks against a Christian out of jealousy. One of the reasons why Jesus was rejected by Jewish religious leaders was His great popularity with the people. Even the heathen Pilate perceived that “for envy they had delivered him” to be killed (Matt. 27:18). Guard the heart against jealousy. It can be other destructive, but it is self-destructive as well.

Some Christians suffer because they love Christ more than family or friends. Jesus said, “And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household” (Matt. 10:36). Love for Christ has caused some Christians to be hated and rejected by family, by friends, and even by local congregations. On February 18, 2016, Doug Addison shared his own story.

“I had a radical encounter with Jesus in 1979, when I was 20 years old. I was living in a drug house at the time and was into various occult practices.

I was so rocked by the encounter that I knew Jesus was real, but I did not know how to respond or even what church to go to.

So, I went to the church up the street.

They were really nice people, but I could tell they were not used to people like me.

I was still struggling with drugs, had long hair–it was the 1970s; I told them about my recurring nightmare, demons in my basement, and a witch who came to my house and told me I needed Jesus.

I can see now that it was outside of their comfort zone, as they were a family-style church that did not teach the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

When hard times hit me again, they sent me a letter saying that they were going to “turn me over to Satan in hopes that my soul would be saved,” based on 1 Corinthians 5:5.”

Fortunately, Doug did not leave the church or stop loving Jesus. He became “A Wounded Healer” and today helps others who have been rejected by family and friends because of Christ. 

May the Lord give us all such grace.

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